The Human Voice, Pedro Almodóvar’s new short starring Tilda Swinton, premiered at Venice to largely positive reactions. It’s the Spanish filmmaker’s first English-language project and was shot in only 9 days in Madrid earlier this year, with production wrapping towards the end of July.
“The Human Voice” is based on a one-act play by Jean Cocteau, written in 1928 and first mounted in France in 1930. It concerns one woman’s final phone conversation with her longtime lover, who has plans to marry another woman.
Madness and melancholy intersect to thrilling effect as Almodóvar reimagines Jean Cocteau’s short play The Human Voice for an era in which isolation has become a way of life. Laws of desire become the rules of the game as Tilda Swinton’s unnamed woman paces and panics in a glorious Technicolor apartment where décor offers a window into her state of mind. Almodóvar has always been a director unafraid of big emotions and super-saturated color—tomato reds, persimmon oranges, blinding blues—and judging from advance glimpses, The Human Voice offers a deep and lush landscape of both interior and exterior life.
“You need that feeling that someone understands you completely,” the director previously said on casting Swinton. “In the case of Tilda, it was exactly how I dreamed of her. She’s so open, so intelligent. She gave me a lot of confidence with the logic. In the rehearsal, we understood each other very closely.”
The Human Voice is currently scheduled to play in UK cinemas from November 7.